This northern riding is the fourth largest in Ontario, but home to one
of the province's smallest populations.
Aside from a large part of Thunder Bay, this riding also includes Nipigon,
Longlac and Marathon, as well as many native reserves. It has the fourth
largest aboriginal population in Ontario.
It has experienced the greatest rate of population decline in Ontario,
according to 1996 Census results. Major employers here include Provincial
Paper and Lakehead University.
Six per cent of the region's population identified themselves as Finnish,
the largest such group in the province.
The 1999 redistribution created Thunder Bay-Superior North from 73
per cent of the old Lake Nipigon riding and 84 per cent of Port Arthur.
In the former riding of Lake Nipigon, NDP candidate Jack Stokes was
elected in 1975, 1977 and 1981. NDP candidate Gilles Pouliot followed
him with victories in 1985, 1987, 1990 and 1995.
In the old riding of Port Arthur, the NDP's Jim Foulds won five elections
between 1971 and 1985. In 1987, Liberal Taras Kozyra defeated the NDP's
Chris Southcott; he was beaten by NDP candidate Shelley Wark-Martyn
in 1990. Liberal Michael Gravelle, a former aide to long-serving local
MP Joe Comuzzi, won the riding in 1995 and was re-elected in 1999.